Friday, February 23, 2007


so today's the third day this week i've been hanging around the house, waiting on a contractor/tech/repair person.

today it's for a ge tech, to see why my dishwasher doesn't work. the builder reinstalled it because it leaked the first time he put it in, causing damage to the wood floor. he seems to have fixed this by preventing water from getting into the dishwasher at all now. ge's warranty doesn't cover installation errors. of course, the builder's assistant swore to me that they ran the machine, so i'm obviously incompetant when it comes to... closing a door and pressing a start button. and hearing the machine run the cycle, and finding a machine full of hot, dry, dirty dishes.

yesterday's wait was for the same assistant. he came by to open the drain for the washing machine. the cap on it had been epoxyed in place, so the sears installer couldn't complete the hookup that i waited for all day on wednesday. mysteriously, the 'it should just pop off, why didn't the sears guy know that' drain cap needed to be drilled open.

last week was fun with qwest, in which we found out that the DSL in our area is painfully slow. also, the phone jacks that the builder put in weren't actually connected to anything. dish network tried to install, but the trees behind our house obscure the signal too much. so, i get to wait on comcast next week. i'm sure we'll find that the cable jacks don't hook up to anything, either.

the builder's assistant will be by on monday, too, to repair the tub. this is a vast improvement from the initial response of 'what's the problem, the shower works, right?'.

so why are we finally getting any help from the builder? because we threatened to go to the contractors' board. and we discovered he's been operating without a license or insurance since october. we know he's working on another house now, and we know we should be reporting him. it makes us ill that someone else will have to deal with the same kinds of issues and nonresponsiveness (until the threat) that we have. but for right now, the threat of reporting him is the only leverage we have to get things fixed.

i'm naming names. the builder is will speakman, his company is reserve construction, and here's a link to his license info:

and here's how it affects us, although we can say we did not knowingly buy from an unlicensed builder - his real estate agent told us several times he was licensed, bonded and insured.

from the ccb site:

"Check on a Contractor's License

Why check a contractor’s license? The Construction Contractors Board (CCB) believes the best way to a successful home improvement, repair or new home project is to know your contractor. Checking a contractor’s license can tell you:

If the contractor is actively licensed, which means they have a surety bond and liability insurance;
If the contractor carries Workers' Comp Insurance to protect its workers on the project;
Breach of contract complaints filed with the CCB in the past seven years.
CCB disciplinary actions against business in the pasts seven years.

IMPORTANT: Homeowners lose the ability to recover damages through the bond and insurance as well as the CCB Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) if they use an unlicensed contractor."


"Errmm.... you're screwed."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


so it appears that the mac/google problem has something to do with airport. this was determined by hooking a cable up to the router, instead of using the wireless connection. boom - instant google, gmail, and blogger. but how the heck do i fix the problem? ran a software update, and it says all my mac software is current....

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

dammit dammit

this was one of those 'start stupidly, get progressively worse' kinds of days.

for starters.... since yesterday, i've been unable to access any google services from my mac. no searching, no gmail, and while i can look at blogspot sites, i can't get into blogger to edit my own (i am on a windows laptop right now). no freaking idea why. i have rebooted the mac, the modem and the router. i have cleared the cache, erased cookies and reset safari. i downloaded firefox and still no go. WTF?

i went over to boo's new school for next year and went on the introductory tour. thankfully there were other parents of first-graders there (the tour is usually for kindergarteners' parents) because i could let them ask the questions and just listen. i was too tired to engage my brain enough to formulate my own questions.

then, over to the new house. we're having all the furniture moved over on thursday, but we've been bringing in bits and pieces each day - and last night, my muscles were not happy with me. still sore today. so, over to the new house to try out the lovely jetted tub in the master bedroom.

hmmm, i push the button but the jets don't work. so it's just a normal bath. there's also a handheld shower thingy that isn't working. annoying, and since it's a feature that helped sell us on the house, i decide to at least report it in to the builder. after getting dressed, i head downstairs to grab the cell phone and ask husband for the builder's cell phone number so i can let him know about this. and that's when i find water dripping from the ceiling onto the kitchen floor. when i head back up, i open the access panel and see the floor under the tub is wet, and the carpet in the bedroom is soaked. husband didn't have the number, i call my real estate agent and get the builder's number. as contracts are all done and signed, there isn't much she can do now besides friendly advice.

i call the builder, he returns the call. and it turns out HE KNEW THAT THE PLUMBERS WHO INSTALLED THE TUB NEEDED TO REPLACE A PART and that without the replacement, the jets wouldn't work and this leak would happen. he neither followed up to make sure it was done nor notified us that there was a problem. he was going to come to the house this afternoon.... but didn't. last time i talked to him, he couldn't get in touch with the plumbers.

so, i've emailed this to my real estate agent, and asked for a referral to a lawyer. because if this isn't repaired tomorrow, yeah we're gonna need one.

about the only thing that went smoothly today was walking around my new neighborhood, hitting a record shop (why do i still think in this term when they sell very little vinyl?), and quickly finding the cd's i hoped to give boodad for valentine's day. and not getting any snark from the guys behind the counter.

btw - tones - we went with the 32". upon measuring the larger tv, we found we had a 27" so this will still feel like enough of an upgrade. however, upon bringing the small tv there i found that rabbit ears do no good in our house, so we will wind up with dish or cable of some type. oh well.

i'm gonna go self-medicate with chocolate now.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

bwaa haa, horoscope

"If you are contemplating a session of retail therapy today, think again. Buying things to make yourself feel better may provide temporary relief. But in a couple of day's time, whatever has been bothering you will still be bothering you. Any impulse buys you make today could drain your bank account of much-needed funds. Save your money for another day and don't take any financial risks -- especially with new technical gadgets that you have not researched."

kinda busy

yep. i'm in those days when taking a shower and doing two loads of laundry counts as being highly productive.

despite this, we are moving to the new house next week. mainly because it's driving us crazy that we're paying for two houses and we're not living in the nicer one.

dumb question for my reader(s): we're contemplating a new tv. we have a 13" that we do most of our viewing on, since it's in the master bedroom. the 32" is downstairs, and doesn't get decent reception as a result (we're on rabbit ears, no cable). the 32" no longer has its remote, and the universal remote we got for it needs reprogramming for time to time - a gigantic pain in the pitoot - and it is so heavy that it's making the cabinet we store it on hard to open. we're looking at the pretty LCDs that my husband's employer makes, which gives us the benefit of not paying retail price, as well as new furniture.

so - do we get a 32" flat tv, or pay almost twice the amount for 42"?

we've been saying we're "not tv people", but i'm not 100% sure if this is a chicken and egg thing -are we not tv people because we have 6 channels, or do we only have 6 channels because we're not tv people? a good chunk of the reason we don't have more is because of our loathing of comcast - which we did give one chance to show up for an installation appointment, and comcast failed - and reluctance to put a dish on a nearly 100-yr-old house. we'd go with dish for the new place.

if we get the 32", will we regret it down the road? and how would we get justify buying a bigger one later?

ugh. technology.